Congratulations to Phil for being certified by Fly Fishers International (FFI) as a bronze-level fly tier! The fly tying certification requires the applicant to tie several flies of specified patterns to be judged on quality and consistency. There are bronze, silver, and gold certifications, with increasingly difficult requirements. Having received the bronze certificate, Phil is now eligible to apply for the silver certificate.
Here's what Phil has to say about the program:
"I have been tying flies for a number of years and felt like I was decent. The flies [for bronze certification] were all really fairly simple patterns, but the trick and challenge is that you submit 3 of each fly and they judge you on how close the 3 match. Except for the 3 patterns that you choose, you have to very closely follow their instructions and that is where the learning comes in. I was impressed with the written instructions as well as the videos that accompany each pattern. On and off I have tied flies for 20ish years and found the program to be very worthwhile and educational. I would recommend this program to anyone interested to improve and get confirmation of their tying skills. Next is Silver and then Gold, both of which I plan to pursue. Not bad winter projects."
Above is a photo of the flies Phil tied. The five required flies are the Gray Goose midge emerger (top right), a dry Pheasant Tail variant (top row, second from the left), the Orange Partridge Soft Hackle (top row, second from the right), the Wooly Bugger (center left), and the Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear nymph (top left). The three self-selected flies Phil chose to tie were a weaved Gold Ribbed Hares Ear nymph (bottom left (2 ea)), a weaved Carey Special (bottom right (2 ea)), and a Seth's Marabou Sand Eel. (center right). All beautiful specimens!
For anyone interested, here is a link to the program and tying instructions: https://flyfishersinternational.org/Portals/0/FlyTyingGroup/FTGDocuments/FlyTyingSkillsAward/BronzeAwardHandbook_sm.pdf, and a link to the videos: https://flyfishersinternational.org/Tying/Fly-Tying-Skills-Award-Program/Bronze-Award.